Hope you take the opportunity to see Fat Wreck Chord’s Tilt as they wind their way through the South. California-based Tilt worked their asses off to bring the southeast their own particular brand of snarling, energetic punk ROCK (or should it be rockin’ punk?). The band itself has six years under its belt and their newest release, Viewers Like You , is their fourth full-length album. Produced by Fat Mike and Ryan Green, vocalist Cinder Block says that recording the album “…was an absolute joy. What a great team, Yeah!” No wonder she claims “I think that Tilt and Fat Wreck Chords are just excited about Viewers Like You … The new record is our best work so far.” Love it when they still call ’em records.
In between the release of Viewers Like You and their tour, Cinder recounts some of the obstacles the band has overcome to once again bludgeon audiences here. On an earlier southern swing, the band survived flipping their van near Tupelo, MS. What happened next took them as surreal: “[w]hen we crawled trembling out of the wreckage, we were met by a cop who looked like Elvis. He said he’d just bought Green Day’s Dookie and was going home to drink a six pack and listen to it.” We’ll see how they describe their performance at Atlanta’s infamous 513 Edgewood Avenue with One Man Army . . . wonder if that will be another surreal experience!
This time around, the hurdles began before the tour. Bass player Jimi Cheetah left the band to concentrate on his family and his own burgeoning record label, Cheetah Records. Happily, original bass player Pete Rypins (currently of the Tantrums) has returned for the tour and “…it’s back to the original line-up and sounding good.” But the silver lining has its cloud: “I’m so tired from these relentless tour prep rehearsals that Pete is making us do,” mused Cinder in response to another question. Prep rehearsals? Wish more bands made that kind of effort.
But maybe that’s what you get with a mature band. Effort. Experience. Depth instead of the emotion of youth. Tilt has more than just angry, unfocused energy to thrive on. And for that reason, they are one band on the punk end of the rock spectrum that can also hold an adult’s attention. Cinder can snarl and scream, but she also can sing, enunciate, and get her point across. Eschewing the “fuck this, fuck that” style of songwriting, Cinder employs imagery that provokes the visceral reaction that punk should be about. Cinder’s approach to writing lyrics betrays a thoughtful perspective on social ills and hypocrisy, but she says, “I don’t waste my time harboring resentments, because it started causing physical ailments. You can beat your own self over the head with the club of anger. I’m not preaching, I’m reflecting.” An example: “Die of Shame,” from the new album. A song about restricting access to abortion, the lyrics are from the perspective of a teenage girl in “the bloom of blood filling the tub, granting me release.” A chilling vignette told against the backdrop of the stiletto-sharp musical attack.
But Tilt isn’t all just searing high-energy rockin’ and serious business lyrics. Tilt has a bit of range to show off, too. In fact, Tilt will have the opportunity to find out how “Mama’s Little Man” goes over. Imagine the rednecks stomping around to “Mama’s little man, is a member of the Klan, he’ll goosestep ’round a burnin’ cross and kick you in the shin” sung to a cutesy country melody that does little to hide the irony lying in wait at the end of the song. Of course, rednecks will probably be in short supply at most Tilt shows. Fortunately however, as dedicated fun-loving rockers, punks, and scenesters, WE can share in the fun.
Don’t miss Tilt as they hit Florida this month! They play the Fu-Bar in Ft. Lauderdale on 10/1, the State Theater in St. Petersburg on 10/2, and the Sapphire Supper Club in Orlando on 10/3.